Many Kpop fans believe that Dolla is the ‘faulty copy of Black Pink’ and ‘can never reach the level’ of the YG girl group.
Girl group Dolla, signed by Universal Music Malaysia in 2019, is a multi-ethnic group consisting of two Malaysian girls Sabronzo and Syasya along with two Chinese members Tabby and Angel. “We hope that each of the members will infuse each person’s unique cultures and abilities into the songs so that Dolla proudly represents the multicolored Malaysian cultural flow,” said Sabronzo.
Unlike typical Kpop, Dolla’s music is more directed towards the Western dance-pop genre with an explosion of hip hop, combining some reggaeton tunes and lyrics in Bahasa Malaysia – the main language of this country.
However, Kpop fans in Malaysia – the 7th most important Kpop market in the world, according to a report from Kpop Twitter 2020 – are not completely satisfied with Dolla. Instead of appreciating the four girls ‘localization’ abilities, many people attacked them on social media and criticized them for being a bad copy of Black Pink.
Netizens commented: “There is a girl in this group who looks exactly like Lisa”, “They are trying to imitate Black Pink’s concept”, “Their choreography has many similarities with Black Pink”, “They said that they are inspired, which means that they know their choreography, style … are like Black Pink. Black Pink had to work extremely hard, and they simply copy all and said that it is a trend. Then all groups just copy someone and say that it is a general trend, no more creative effort needed “,” They can imitate everything they want but they will never reach the level of Black Pink “.
Meanwhile, there are also many supporters of Dolla who think the group’s music and Black Pink are completely different. “Only fools see their music resembles Black Pink”, “4 Asian girls sing a song that is meant to copy Black Pink? How ridiculous!”, “BlackPink was not the first to create a girl-crush style. They are also not the only girl group to follow this style. Blink stop toxic! “,” Their music is very European and American. They are completely different from Black Pink.”
However, for the girl group, Dolla, being called a copy of Black Pink turned out to be a driving force them. “We take that as a compliment because Black Pink is the most popular girl group in the music industry right now,” said Syasya. “We never intend to imitate anyone, because we also want people to know who we are,” she added.
In addition to Black Pink, Syasya said, European American girl groups such as Little Mix and Fifth Harmony have all influenced the group’s image and music orientation.
Dolla released her debut single Dolla Make You Wanna in March 2020. After gaining attention in Malaysia, the group was mentioned on the Korean news site Allkpop and as a result, MV Dolla Make You Wanna has attracted nearly 3 million views.
“We can sing and dance like Kpop groups, but we think we are quite different because we don’t sing in Korean,” said Chinese member Angel. The group chose to sing Bahasa Malaysia to identify themselves as Mpop.
There aren’t many Malaysian girl groups that Dolla can find inspiration for. In addition to the girl groups in the 1990s like Elite and Feminine, or the female singer Yuna who had great achievement on the Billboard chart, there are not many successful female groups in this country.
Malaysian female artists do not tend to express themselves with sexual words or wear sexy outfits that are trademarks of Kpop girl groups such as AOA, Sistar, and Black Pink. Dolla is also different from Malaysian Chinese girl groups such as Four Golden Princesses, M-Girls, and Q-Genz, which focus on producing Chinese-language songs for the Chinese New Year.
Dolla was one of the first mainstream Malaysian pop groups to sing about women’s rights, despite Muslim stereotypes about women. “As a girl group, our biggest goal is to let girls know that gender has no boundaries, and we want to inspire our fans, both female and male,” says Tabby.
Composed by Swedish producers Ludwig Lindell, Daniel Caesar, and Karl-Oskar Gummesson, the names behind some K-pop hits of SNSD, Red Velvet and Loona, Dolla’s Impikan (Watch Me Glow) praising women who find their own path. “Both of our songs, especially Watch Me Glow, want to say don’t let anyone stop you from becoming yourself and chasing your dreams,” Tabby said.
“You have to be good at a variety of skills such as singing and dancing. Must have good stamina and be able to balance all members of the group,” Angel believes it is a worthy effort, as Dolla constantly crosses the line in the local music background. “Whatever happens, we will continue to try new and different things in our music.”